The Glow Up 50: In Praise of the Glam Squad

The Glow Up 50The Glow Up 50Our annual celebration of the black tastemakers, trendsetters and innovators elevating the world of style.

In this most unconventional of awards seasons, we are proudly closing out our second annual celebration of Black creatives innovating the worlds of fashion, beauty and media, better known as The Glow Up 50. We’re uniquely proud of each of our honorees this year (and hope you’ve taken a moment to applaud all of them with us), but as the biggest awards night of the year approaches on Sunday in the form of the Academy Awards, we wanted to give a special shout out to those who make our stars shine through their boundless creativity and collaborative efforts.

That’s right: This one goes out to the glam squads.

If there’s one development that has particular joy to our hearts in recent years, it’s been the increased recognition of the talents who make our on-camera talents look so flawless—in character and out. We’re talking about the costume and fashion designers, wardrobe stylists, hair and wig designers and makeup artists, many of whom do double duty working both the big screen and the red carpet. Many of our favorite Black stars have accordingly made stars of their all-Black glam squads, which is why stylists like The Root 100 2019 honoree Law Roach and 2020 TGU 50 honoree Jason Bolden are becoming well-known independent of the many stars they dress.


Then, too, are the luminaries like 2021 TGU 50 honoree Ruth E. Carter, who is the first Black costume designer to win an Academy Award, and hair and wig designer Mia Neal, who has already made Oscar history alongside fellow hairstylist Jamika Wilson by being the first Black women to be nominated in the Hair and Makeup category for their work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Trust and believe we’ll be watching on Sunday night to see if these two visionaries take home the win (and hopefully, we’ll see some Black designers on the red carpet)—but in the meantime, here’s to the glam squads.


(Video production: Tiffani DuPree, Animations: Heather Hass)

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?